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Union Bashing

Despite strong opposition from trade unions at home and the international community, the interim government has gone ahead with the enforcement of Decree 35 with the promulgation of Regulations that identify essential industries covered under the Decree. The National Farmers…

ILO concerned at the gravity of the Fiji situation

The International Labour Organisation has expressed “deep regret” at the Fiji government’s decision to go ahead with restrictive labour laws (Decree 35). In a strongly worded statement issued on 13 September ILO Director-General Mr Juan Somavia said it was essential…

Putting the record straight, Dr. Narsey

So, in typical fashion my good friend Dr. Wadan Narsey has availed himself of another opportunity to take a swipe at the Fiji Labour Party and me personally. It is regrettable that he chose to do so while paying tribute…

FLP writes to the President on FNPF

The Fiji Labour Party has written to HE the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to intervene in the FNPF pension dispute. The CEO of the Fund has threatened that the reduction in the rates of pensions announced recently will be made…

On trade unions and their rights…

The National Farmers Union rejects claims by the Information Ministry and the Fiji Sun that its officers are paid hefty salaries and perks from union subscriptions. “The executives of the NFU have never been paid for their services to the…

Travel ban – a violation of human rights

The move by PSC to place a travel ban on students and their guarantors who have not paid back student loans, is an inhumane, knee jerk reaction and a violation of their human rights. We refer to the front page…

Why is the media silent on the FNPF court case?

There has been a noticeable lack of information in the local media on the high-profile FNPF court case which came up for hearing on 4 July. One wonders why the media has suddenly gone so silent on the issue considering…

Excessive liquidity worries Bank

Bank of Baroda chief executive Pabitra Kumar Das is worried that a lack of borrowers and the excessive liquidity in the system will impact adversely on his bank’s performance. At Baroda’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Mr Das said (Fiji Times 6/7/11)…

Pension cuts must be opposed

The Fiji Labour Party welcomes and fully supports the legal action taken by former Human Rights Commissioner Shaista Shameem and her client David Burness against the FNPF’s arbitrary decision to cut pension rates to 9%. The Party calls on all…

Cost of living continues to rise

A quick survey of current prices for food and basic consumer goods on supermarket shelves show most items have gone up in price in the past six months, showing increases ranging from 5% to 55% (refer to table below). The…

FNPF reforms misdirected

No need to cut pensions, says Labour (Revised Paper) The Fiji Labour Party says the long term viability of the FNPF can be maintained without making cuts to the current rates of pension benefits. In a submission to the FNPF…

Internal dialogue is the way forward: Labour

The ANZ’s regional chief Michael Rowland is advocating a grand “coalition of interested countries” to begin dialogue with the Fiji regime on returning to elections and democratic rule. In an interview with Radio Australia this week, Mr Rowland argues, in…

Devaluation and Vat boost fuel prices

Consumers in Fiji would have been paying 22.5% less for fuel had the Fiji dollar not been devalued by 20% and VAT not increased to 15% from January this year. This would have meant a current fuel price of $1.94c…

Permit for Ram Naumi celebrations

The Fiji Labour Party was shocked to hear that Hindus are required to have a permit to celebrate the Hindu festival of Ram Naumi – Lord Rama’s birth. The Fiji Times reported on Thursday that Pt Mahend Sharma of the…

Sugar unions not responsible for the industry decline

Trade unions and politicians cannot be blamed for the current critical state of the sugar industry, says NFU General Secretary Mahendra Chaudhry. He was responding to statements by Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama blaming the “politicisation” of the sugar industry for its…

ADB cautions Fiji on escalating debt levels

The Asian Development Bank has cautioned Fiji on its escalating debt level which stood at 58% of the GDP at February end. In its February 2011 issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor, the Bank says: “Reducing debt levels (currently nearly…

Price survey of basic consumer prices

A Fiji Labour Party survey of prices of food and basic consumer goods in the past three years show massive increases ranging from 20% to as much as 400% for some food items. These increases are registered even for food…

Labour delegation presents i-reguregu at Viseisei Village

A delegation from the Fiji Labour Party, the National Farmers Union and the Fiji Trades Union Congress presented its i-reguregu at the chiefly village of Viseisei on Saturday. The delegation of 10 included Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and FLP’s assistant secretary-general Lekh…

Tribute to the Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilo

The Fiji Labour Party regrets the death of the former President and Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, CF, MBE, MSD, KStJ who passed away on Sunday. Ratu Josefa, 90, had a long and illustrious career first as a primary…

DPP withdraws unlawful assembly charge

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) this morning withdrew charges of unlawful assembly filed against Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and five other FLP/NFU members last October. When the case was called in the Ra Magistrates Court this morning, the prosecutor told…

Obituary

The Fiji Labour Party mourns the death of one of its longest serving stalwarts, Satyendra, a retired senior civil servant, and former Suva City Councillor. Satyendra, 65, passed away at the CWM Hospital in Suva at 4 am today after…

Labour slams Coup 4.5 mischief

The Fiji Labour Party slams as mischievous lies a report in the Coup 4.5 blog that Mahendra Chaudhry and Felix Anthony are organising a protest march for next month. This is yet another example of baseless and malicious reporting by…

Where to in 2011?

Yet another year has ended. It is a convention, as we stand on the threshold of a new year, to take stock of the past in order to prepare for the year ahead. Four years have lapsed since the regime…

Where is our road user levy going?

Fiji’s roads have never been in such a shocking condition, says FLP’s Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi. And he has questioned why the millions collected in road user levy from motorists was not being used to fix the roads. “I have been…

The sacking of two senior DPP officials

Yet another summary dismissal of two senior lawyers from the DPP’s office raises serious concerns about the independence of that office. The sackings yesterday of deputy DPP David Toganivalu and another lawyer Ana Tuiketei signal continuing instability at the DPP’s…

HOW THE POOR FARED IN THE 2011 BUDGET

Kevin J. Barr [Note: Father Kevin Barr says each year he does a paper for the newspapers based on his analysis of the impact of the Budget on the poor. This year both the newspapers chose not to publish it….

Record Borrowing for 2010

State borrowings in 2010 run into a staggering $740 million – the highest ever in Fiji’s history. Of the total, domestic loans (from FNPF) amount to $498 million, while overseas loans add up to $242 million. The provision for debt…

Chaudhry responds to Khaiyum

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has reiterated his concern that the imposition of a 15% VAT will bring acute hardship to the poor and low and middle income families. He was replying to comments on Fiji Village by interim…

Correction

Correction to a slight error in a quote attributed to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in FLP’s response to the 2011 Budget regarding the 15c per litre tax imposed on Fiji Water. Mr Chaudhry said,”I wonder what process of enlightenment has…

Budget 2011

The imposition of a 15% VAT on all goods and services will have a massive impact on the already troubled Fiji economy. It is a devastating blow to the poor, and the low and medium income earners. The 20% increase,…

Reply to Coup Four Point Five trash

It seems Coup Four Point Five is trying to detract attention from its own failings and inaccuracies by reverting to Chaudhry bashing again. The blogsite is becoming quite notorious for its sensational and false reporting and we have had occasion…

Labour critiques Thakur Ranjit Singh

A piece by Thakur Ranjit Singh on Pacific Scoop, following the Auckland launch of Brij Lal’s book on Jai Ram Reddy, attempts to compare Reddy to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry In doing so, he quotes a military analogy used by…

Labour critiques Thakur Ranjit Singh

A piece by Thakur Ranjit Singh on Pacific Scoop, following the Auckland launch of Brij Lal’s book on Jai Ram Reddy, attempts to compare Reddy to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry In doing so, he quotes a military analogy used by…

Website issue amicably resolved

Fiji Labour Party leaders met this morning with officials of the Information Ministry to discuss the administration’s warning regarding the FLP website. Labour President Jokapeci Koroi and Leader Mahendra Chaudhry met with the Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns and…

Minfo warns FLP

The following letter was received from the Ministry for Information. We have referred it to our legal counsel for advice.

Accountability for Ministerial payrolls

Fiji Labour Party calls on the interim government to comment on the authenticity of reports that salaries of Cabinet Ministers and a legal consultant hired by the government are paid through the accounting firm of BDO (Aliz). There have been…

Awarding of $½m Rewa Dairy contract questionable

The authorities must investigate the awarding of a Rewa Dairy contract for $500,000 to a Suva accounting firm with very close connections to the Minister for Commerce, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. The contract for a restructure of the dairy company was…

Labour Leader charged

Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon charged with alleged offences under the Penal Code, Exchange Control Act, and Proceeds of Crime Act. The substance of the matters constituting the charges were earlier…

RBF distorts data to paint a favourable picture

It has become glaringly obvious for sometime now that the monthly economic reviews of the Reserve Bank misrepresent economic data to paint a favourable picture of our ailing economy. In its June review, the RBF points to a pick up…

Labour marks its 25th anniversary

The Fiji Labour Party this month observes the 25th anniversary of its birth, marking 25 years of dynamism at the centre stage of Fiji politics.  These 25 years have been momentous – we have tasted the sweet joys of success…

The Revised Budget

The revised 2010 Budget proved to be just a housekeeping exercise to contain the Budget deficit to within 3.5% of GDP. Expenditure cuts of $75 million are to be made to attain this objective, apparently on advice from the IMF,…

Mini (Revised) Budget tomorrow

On 15 June we had warned that a mini budget was likely in July because of the precarious state of government finances. The administration has now announced that the Finance Minister will deliver a revised budget tomorrow (2 July). Why…

Fund raising for poor children in Taveuni

The Taveuni Branch of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha (a Hindu religious organisation) has embarked on a project to raise funds to assist poor parents pay for the education of their children. The project was announced by the Branch…

Lack of Power hampers development in Taveuni

The island of Taveuni will continue to lag behind in development and economic progress until such time as the island is ‘energised’, says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry. This was the sum total of views expressed to him by the business…

North bemoans rising cost of living

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry visited Savusavu and Taveuni from 4-7 June to meet with the people and inaugurate a religious function at Delaivuna in Taveuni. Commenting on his visit, Mr Chaudhry said that people in the North complained bitterly about…

10th anniversary of the 2000 coup

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the 19 May 2000 coup that deposed the Labour-led People’s Coalition Government of Mahendra Chaudhry resulting in the 56-day hostage crisis in Parliament. Staged by failed businessman George Speight and the CRW soldiers, the…

May 14 – a historic date for Fiji

May 14 has special significance for Fiji – it marks the arrival of Fiji’s first Indians in 1879 on the coolie vessel Leonidas and it is also the ill-fated date of Fiji’s first coup d’etat against that community in 1987….

$84 million valuation for Natadola Resort absurd

Why is the luxurious 5-star Natadola Bay Resort being under-valued at $84 million by the Fiji National Provident Fund? In its shocking disclosure of a $301million write off on the Natadola Resort project last week, the Fund’s Chief Executive Aisake…

Natadola cat out of the bag

The Natadola scam has finally surfaced. We posted a story on the subject on our website on 2 March titled “Is our Provident Fund (FNPF) in safe hands?” At the time, the FNPF annual reports for the years 2008 and…

Shocking revelations at Poverty workshop

Almost half of our people are living in poverty. This shocking revelation was made at the recent workshop on poverty alleviation impact assessment conducted by the Poverty Eradication Unit of the government A 2007 survey had put poverty levels at…

Update on flight cancellations

Altogether 24 Fiji flights have been cancelled in the past two months as a result of poor load factor, according to the latest data available from airport sources. This includes six cancellations by V Australia and not the 17 reported…

What’s with Fiji tourism?

Poor load factor has resulted in flight cancellations to Nadi in the recent weeks. Airport sources have disclosed that V Australia cancelled about 10 Sydney-Nadi flights last month and seven so far this month. “Even at the ridiculously low $199…

Cyclone damage to cane settlements in the North

Labour Leader and NFU general secretary Mahendra Chaudhry undertook an extensive tour of cyclone stricken areas of Labasa over the week-end. He met with over 500 people in 12 different locations in the Daku, Wainikoro, Vunimoli, Bucaisau, Labasa and Wailevu…

Bleak economic outlook for 2010

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says Fiji’s economy is expected to contract in 2010. This is a correction of its previous forecast (Nov 2009) when the Bank projected a modest growth of just under 1%. In a statement on Pacific…

US 2009 Human Rights report on Fiji

The United States 2009 Human Rights Report for Fiji, just released is a highly damning document on the continuing violation and abuse of human rights by Fiji’s (military) interim administration. The 13-page report focused on the denial of the right…

FLP replies to the interim Prime Minister

The Fiji Labour Party is alive and active and will contest the 2014 general elections, contrary to claims by interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Commodore Bainimarama is reported as having told the local media that none of the politicians will…

Is our Provident Fund (FNPF) in safe hands?

What is holding up the certification of FNPF accounts and the publication of its annual reports for the years ended 30 June 2008 and 2009? The FNPF Act requires the accounts of the Fund to be audited and certified and…

Housing Authority Low Cost Housing Project

The Housing Authority (HA) is to borrow $70 million under the Chinese ‘soft’ loan scheme to fund its low cost housing project. The financing arrangement is reported to be in its final stages of negotiation. Some serious questions of accountability…

$100m loss to the sugar industry in 2009

The sugar industry faces a massive $100 million loss for the 2009 season all because of FSC’s failure to efficiently convert cane to sugar at its ailing mills. Of this, loss to cane farmers will be a staggering $70 million…

Labour government and Fijian education

The Labour govt. was fully cognisant of the special needs of indigenous education but had a different approach to that of other governments. The FLP said in reply to an editorial comment (21/1/10) titled “Welcome Revolution” in the Fiji Times….

Labour government and Fijian education

The Labour govt. was fully cognisant of the special needs of indigenous education but had a different approach to that of other governments. The FLP said in reply to an editorial comment (21/1/10) titled “Welcome Revolution” in the Fiji Times….

Labour government and Fijian education

The Labour govt. was fully cognisant of the special needs of indigenous education but had a different approach to that of other governments. The FLP said in reply to an editorial comment (21/1/10) titled “Welcome Revolution” in the Fiji Times….

Labour Leader at the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has just returned from participating at the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an annual convention of People of Indian Origin worldwide, held in New Delhi this year. The three-day event is sponsored by the Government of India…

The sacking of the magistrates

Fiji Labour Party views with deep concern the sacking of three magistrates without any explanations given for their removal from office. According to media reports neither the President’s office nor the interim Attorney General is willing to explain why the…

Mrs Koya: a woman of fortitude

Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry expresses his deepest condolences at the passing away of Mrs Amina Koya. She will always be remembered with honour and respect as the wife of the late Mr Siddiq Koya, former Leader of the…

2010 as we see it

Unfortunately, the grim prospects facing us in the New Year will bring no joy to the hearts of our people. From all corners – political, economic and social- the tidings are depressing and frustrating, to say the least. Fiji’s economy…

Interim Government must assist Cyclone Mick victims

(FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry (2nd left) pictured in Naitata,Navua with cyclone victim Ram Samuj (left) and Hira Lal and Bimal Prasad to his right) FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has been out meeting with people in Navua, Nausori and Tailevu/Naitasiri areas…

Cyclone Mick: Agriculture Sector hit hardest

The farming community has been most hard hit by the ravage caused by Cyclone Mick and the Fiji Labour Party has called for a State rehabilitation programme to begin the recovery process. “A preliminary survey in the Western and Central…

RBF way off the mark on inflation

The Reserve Bank of is way off the mark in its inflation forecasts which is likely to be running closer to an unprecedented high of 15.2% and not the RBF-claimed 7%. Likewise, to claim that devaluation of the Fiji dollar…

Budget 2010: Luxury oriented

Fiji’s economy cannot be rebuilt on the back of political instability, violation of human rights and repressive measures under the Public Emergency Regulations, says the Fiji Labour Party. “You must first of all secure confidence in the future of the…

Budget 2010: Luxury oriented

Fiji’s economy cannot be rebuilt on the back of political instability, violation of human rights and repressive measures under the Public Emergency Regulations, says the Fiji Labour Party. “You must first of all secure confidence in the future of the…

IMF on the wrong foot on FNPF annuity rates

The visiting IMF Mission team’s recommendation to reduce FNPF’s annuity benefits is unfortunate and appears to have been made without a full understanding of all relevant facts. In its concluding statement, the team recommends that the Fund be made actuarially…

IMF on the wrong foot on FNPF annuity rates

The visiting IMF Mission team’s recommendation to reduce FNPF’s annuity benefits is unfortunate and appears to have been made without a full understanding of all relevant facts. In its concluding statement, the team recommends that the Fund be made actuarially…

Removal of price control will hit poor hard

The interim government is definitely ill-advised on its decision to remove price controls from 146 basic consumer items. “It is a shocking and irresponsible move which will hit directly at the stomachs of the poor at a time of galloping…

Removal of price control will hit poor hard

The interim government is definitely ill-advised on its decision to remove price controls from 146 basic consumer items. “It is a shocking and irresponsible move which will hit directly at the stomachs of the poor at a time of galloping…

Coup 4.5’s Pack of lies!

First check the authenticity of your story before you start investigating the Labour Leader, FLP tells Coup Four Point Five. Your sources are no doubt the same Chaudhry-bashers whose pack of lies have been shamefully exposed in your previous anti-Labour…

Diwali message from Labour Leader

This year again, as last year, I have been unable to convey to you my message on the auspicious occasion of Deepavali through the media. But the reason for my inability to do so this year is different from that…

Businesses lack confidence

Businesses in the North simply do not have confidence in the policies of the regime. They are hesitant to invest saying there is a sharp downturn and the money is simply not there on which businesses can build. “People are…

Survey reveals widespread hardship

A recent survey in the Labasa area revealed widespread hardship and discontent among the people with children  forced to walk several kilometres to attend school. While they have given several reasons for their plight, the foremost among them are: •…

Devaluation takes its toll

The full effect of the devaluation of the Fiji dollar is unleashing itself on the people particularly those with ordinary incomes, as the cost of goods and services rise sharply. In recent weeks, people have been hit by increases in:…

Labour challenges Blog Coup Four and a Half writer

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry challenges blog writer for Coup Four and a Half to provide documentary proof of him accusing Ratu Epeli Nailatikau of complicity in the 1987 coup. The phantom writer says Chaudhry’s accusation against Ratu Epeli was “public…

Hike in bus fares and electricity rates

A 30% increase in bus fares approved by the government is exorbitant and will make life even more difficult for workers and the poor. It is going to add to the hardship suffered by the majority of our people as…

Why Fijian Holdings to build $20m Police HQ?

Fiji Labour Party questions government decision to let the $20m Police headquarters be built as a Fijian Holdings project to be leased to the Police Force for 20 years on completion. “Why was Fijian Holdings Ltd (FHL) selected without other…

Compensate Farmers for mill malfunction: NFU

Cane farmers should be compensated by FSC for losses incurred as a result of mill breakdowns and stoppages, as an obligation under the Sugar Industry Master Award, says the National Farmers Union. Why should farmers have to suffer for the…

Moves to reduce the rate of pension

Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has called on the interim government to explore better alternatives to sustain the financial viability of the Fiji National Provident Fund rather than reducing the current rate of pension to its members. He was commenting on…

Extension of State of Emergency bad for economy

The extension of the State of Emergency by a further month is regrettable as restrictions placed under it will have a detrimental effect on businesses and the economy in general, Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said. To the international community it…

Devaluation of the Fiji dollar

The decision to devalue the Fiji dollar by 20% will create more problems than it will solve, says the Fiji Labour Party. “Above all, it will undermine confidence in Fiji’s economy, deter investment and cause severe hardship to the poor,”…

Devaluation of the Fiji dollar

The decision to devalue the Fiji dollar by 20% will create more problems than it will solve, says the Fiji Labour Party. “Above all, it will undermine confidence in Fiji’s economy, deter investment and cause severe hardship to the poor,”…

The $6.5m SPFL bailout

The Interim Government and the sugar industry had to step in and bail out the South Pacific Fertiliser Ltd in 2008, to maintain the price of  fertilizer at $19.50 a bag for cane farmers.    “Otherwise, farmers would have been forced…

Tomas batters 2010 cane crop in the North

The cane crop has sustained extensive damage in the North following almost three days of battering by hurricane force winds brought by Cyclone Tomas. The slow moving Tomas which was upgraded to a Category Four hurricane on Monday with wind…

Chaudhry not to blame for SPFL problems

The South Pacific Fertiliser Limited (SPFL) was already on the verge of liquidation when Mahendra Chaudhry took over as Sugar Minister at the beginning of 2007, says FLP  “It has become a dishonest habit of Jaganath Sami and his cohorts…

FNPF annual reports 2008/2009

The 2008 Annual Report of the Fiji National Provident Fund has now been published and is to be released to stakeholders after it is tabled in Cabinet. This is the information provided by the FNPF to queries from Labour Leader…

Where’s the evidence, Coup Four Point Five?

FLP’s response to Coup Four and a Half is to stop blathering and front up with the evidence it claimed it had against the Labour Leader. But first, the FLP does not operate through anonymous blog sites. We have the…